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Lifestyles

    Looking for the best barbecue joints in the U.S.? A few of them are right here in Georgia, according to a new ranking.  »RELATED: 12 ways to see fireworks in Atlanta on July 4th The Food Network recently released its “America’s Best Barbecue from Coast to Coast” list, which rounded up the eateries that serve up the yummiest ribs, briskets and baked beans in some of America’s regions known for barbecue. Its experts canvassed dozens of restaurants across the country, and several in Georgia made the cut, including Atlanta’s Heirloom Market BBQ. The Cobb County eatery, located at 2243 Akers Mill Road, was featured thanks to its high-quality meats and range of barbecue sauces.  According to the Food Network article: “You can find remnants of the old-school style even in new-school Atlanta joints like Heirloom Market, where high-quality meat is prepared in a range of styles (think sweet and spicy Korean sauce) that include the local classic tomato sauce.”  It wasn’t the only Georgia spot on the list though. Smokin’ Pig, located right outside of Savannah in Richmond Hill, was praised for its wood-smoked pork shoulder, a family recipe that’s been passed down through generations.  Macon’s Fincher's Bar-B-Q was also highlighted. The Food Network gave a nod to its popular barbecue sauce, which is “used to marinate the pulled and chopped pork once it's pulled out of the wood coal-fired masonry pits,” the authors wrote.  And two places in Northern Georgia, Poole’s in Ellijay and Two Brothers in Ball Ground, impressed the experts with its smoked chopped pork and sweet and vinegary tomato sauce. Want to know how other spots fared? Take a look at the full list here.  » RELATED: Learn to make collard greens from City Barbeque
  • Originally posted Monday, June 24, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Nearly a year after putting his Buckhead mansion on sale for $25 million, the owner who had purchased the home from media mogul Tyler Perry has marked it down to $21 million. Entrepreneur and evangelist David Turner purchased the property at 4110 Paces Ferry Road from Perry for $17. 5 million in 2016, believed to be the priciest single home residential property ever sold in metro Atlanta. Even discounted 16 percent to $21 million, the French provincial mansion on 17 acres of prime real estate, remains the most expensive home currently on sale in the area, according to Zillow. The second highest asking price for a mansion in town is $16 million off West Paces Ferry. That has been on the market just shy of two months.  Turner uses the property as his personal home and has in the past shot Jesus Live TV, a web-based network.  “He is still on the property,” said Turner’s agent Chase Mizell at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty in an interview Monday. “He’ll be living there until he sells the property.” Mizell said Turner dropped the price a couple of months ago but realizes it could take years for a property of this magnitude to sell. “He’s patient,” Mizell said.  Perry himself purchased the property in 2007 for $9 million and spent millions upgrading it. He put the home up for sale in 2015 for $25 million but ultimately sold it at the discounted price of $17.5 million a year later.  The property overlooks the Chattahoochee River. Among the amenities: a 70,000 gallon infinity-edge swimming pool, lighted tennis court, fully equipped gym, spa, theater, indoor resistance pool, wine cellar, guest house, underground ballroom with catering kitchen, formal and informal gardens, covered verandas, entire estate generator, guard house and a caretakers suite.  Perry in recent years purchased upwards to 1,200 acres of property in Douglasville and is building a 35,000-square-foot mansion there, according to a story in TMZ last year. If that size is correct, it would be comparable to the Paces Ferry property, which used to be owned by a segregationist, a fact that delighted Perry. (Perry, receiving the BET Icon Award Sunday night, noted that Fort McPherson, of which he owns 330 acres for Tyler Perry Studios, was once a base for the Confederate Army during the Civil War, an irony that is also not lost on him.) Here are photos of the 4110 Paces Ferry property: <<RELATED: Check out more photos here
  • Originally posted Saturday, June 15, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Tiffany Haddish, the stand-up comic and actress, has postponed her upcoming June 22 Fox Theatre concert date, citing the “heartbeat” abortion bill signed into law last month by Gov. Brian Kemp. “After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta. I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there,' Haddish said in a statement sent to ticket buyers and media early Saturday afternoon. (11Alive broke the story.) Ticket buyers through Live Nation can get refunds at point of purchase. The concert is already off the Fox Theatre website. Haddish had no other concert dates scheduled in any other city.  She has not set a new date at the Fox, which has a capacity of 4,500 or so. Ticket sales appeared to be soft for the June 22 concert, based on Stubhub prices. A week out, there were fourth-row seats available for just $56.76. Those tickets were $120 at face value. Another sign demand was not strong: very few tickets on third-seller marketplaces available in the upper rows at any price.  Haddish, who starred in her breakthrough 2017 hit “Girls Trip” and recently voiced a character in last weekend’s No. 1 film “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” is the first major celebrity to publicly cite the law as a reason she was postponing a live concert in the state. The Los Angeles actress has shot several films in Atlanta the past couple of years such as  “Nobody’s Fool,” “Night School and “Uncle Drew.” Her most recent film shot here is upcoming comedy “Limited Partners,” also starring Rose Byrne.  “It’s great she’s making a statement,” said Marshall Chiles, owner of the Laughing Skull Lounge, which hosted a “pop-up” show with Haddish with 60 minutes notice that almost sold out. “I’d prefer they take the route of donating to local charities to fight it. I think that’s more useful than not performing.” He noted that Ariana Grande donated $250,000 from her State Farm Arena concert take to Planned Parenthood a few days ago.  The fall-out over the law continues as many celebrities and producers have vowed to take Georgia off their list of places to work in despite the very generous tax credits that have fueled the business since 2008. And if the bill actually goes into effect in 2020, many major studios have threatened to pull out completely. Some producers, actors and crew members are staying and contributing to women’s rights groups and the ACLU, which vows to file a lawsuit to stop the law from being implemented. It has successful done so with comparable bills in other states.  The AJC was scheduled to talk to Haddish yesterday in advance of her concert, but her publicist cancelled the night before. The note Thursday evening said her “work schedule has shifted and unfortunately this time no longer works for her. Will be back in touch soon to reset.”  RELATED: Tiffany Haddish knew she messed up her Miami New Year’s stand-up show
  • Q – In our crawlspace we have insulation up between the floor joists. Bits of the fiberglass insulation are starting to drop here and there, not a bunch, but it is noticeable.  It’s an older home. Should I have a company come out and remove it all and re-do it? Ann – Douglasville A – You can. Or you can do it yourself. Removing and installing insulation from the floor joists in your crawlspace ranks as one of the easier DIY projects lurking around your home. What you will need: long pants, long sleeved shirt, hat, gloves, mask and trash bags. The insulation may look harmless, but it is fiberglass which means it does have glass in it. It will irritate your skin if you come in contact with it, especially over an extended period of time. Simply pull it down and bag it. Most trash companies will accept cellulose and fiberglass insulation with their regular pick-up. You may want to call to verify. If not, your county landfill will. Now go to a big box store and get some rolls of new batt insulation. Take them into your crawlspace and unroll them between the joists and Viola! You are an insulation contractor. Your big box store will sell you metal wire that you can easily place between the joists every 6 ft. or so to help hold the insulation in place. Roll out the new insulation paper side up and you are done. If you aren’t happy with the way your crawlspace feels, or if it has a water leak, or foul moldy smell you may want to up-grade the air space in your crawl by having it encapsulated. Although it will be a little pricier, it will greatly improve the air in your house. Good luck! >> More from Dave Baker
  • Originally posted Tuesday, June 11, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog For people who love flea markets and yard sales, 20th Century Fox is offering up furniture, clothing and random tchotchkes from recently cancelled TV shows such as “Star,” “The Passage” and “The Gifted.” While some the stuff is generic - reams of paper, stray lampshades, hula hoops - others are one of a kind. A most notable one is a sign that says “Magic City,” referencing the iconic strip club in Atlanta featured on“Star,” which focused on the local music business. (That show was cancelled last month after three seasons.) The liquidation sale will be held at 1902 Sullivan Road in College Park at what used to be 60,000 square feet of conference space attached to the old Sheraton Hotel by Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. It begins Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and runs through 5 p.m. Saturday. Prices are marked on most everything but may get reduced over time.  Whatever is left over will be auctioned off on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. There are thousands of pieces of clothing, from T-shirts to glitzy dresses. (I’m told the most iconic pieces worn by the big stars are probably not here. Most were worn by extras.) There are eight identical backyard table-and-chair sets. There’s a bar that was built in part from an old motorcycle (for $2,495). There’s a box of hollow fake prop rocks. There are framed LPs, electric guitars, hospital beds, a lawn mower, Vans sneakers, dated electronics and three red chairs made of seat belts ($795 apiece).  Robert Ahlers is overseeing this sale and auction. He has been in the business 12 years and said this is one of the largest in terms of quantity he has ever done. He also sold off “Sleepy Hollow” TV show props a couple of years ago and the belongings of Tex McIver, in prison for killing his wife Diane under suspicious circumstances.  For legal reasons, Ahlers is not allowed to identify which shows are included in the mix but he did say the owners brought in 60 24-foot trucks worth of stuff into the space over a span of 10 days.  This highly voluminous sale, Ahlers said, took 10 days to put together, 15 employees a day, tagging, organizing and pricing everything. Of the whopping 350 racks of clothing, 50 have individually marked items while the rest will have flat pricing per type of clothing.  He said he expects the first day and last day to be the busiest. The mix of people who show up include eBay sellers, collectors, prop houses and boutique and consignment shop owners.  Here’s a gallery of photos I took:
  • Everyone loves an excuse to put on their nostalgia goggles and go back to “the good old days.” Several spots around Atlanta can help bring back those memories, capturing time in a bottle. From retro revivals to old-fashioned cooking, here are six places sure to remind you of decades past. The Silver Skillet When you think old-school diners, you’re apt to picture the ’50s. And when you see a 1950s-themed southern diner on television or in the movies, it’s often The Silver Skillet. With numerous appearances on film, the restaurant might even bring back nostalgia from its on-screen cameos, which include “Remember the Titans,” “Anchorman 2,” “The Founder” and the Netflix show “Ozark.” For those who aren’t cinephiles, the classic combo of skillet country ham, sunny-side-up eggs and lemon icebox pie will surely bring your taste buds back a few decades. 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekends. 200 14th St. NW, Atlanta. 404-874-1388, thesilverskillet.com. MORE THINGS TO DO: Dionne Warwick to play the Fox Theatre with Peabo Bryson, Deniece Williams Starlight Drive-In Theatre and Flea Market Drive-in theatres are mostly a lost relic. With only five left operating in the state, the Starlight Drive-In Theatre remains a bastion in Atlanta, keeping the tradition alive. The theater was built in 1949, and its four screens still light up several first dates each week. While the venue now boasts a digital projection system, the charm of seeing a movie from your car hasn’t been lost. Movies are only shown on weekdays, and Starlight transforms on the weekends to host a flea market with more than 300 vendors. Showtimes vary on weekdays, while the flea market is open 6 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekends. 2000 Moreland Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-627-5786, starlightdrivein.com. Tipple + Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary A place doesn’t need to be historic to bring back memories from decades past. Some can be conceived recently, even within the past five years. Tipple + Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary has been offering up Victorian ambiance in its cozy Virginia Highlands location since July 2015. From dainty sandwiches and pastries to 140 types of tea, this cafe is not struggling for variety. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays. Closed on Mondays. 806 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 678-705-7995, tippleandrose.com. Cascade Fun Center Disco is dead? Not if this roller rink has anything to say about it. Outfitted with disco balls and neon lights, Cascade Fun Center mixes the feel of a ’70s venue with modern music. There isn’t a shortage of four-wheeled rental skates, and the scuffed up wooden floor is proof of the fun times thousands have had. During the summer, walk-in admission is only $7 until July 26, so it isn’t a tall price to pay to travel back to groovier times. 7-10 p.m. on Tuesdays, 8 p.m.-midnight on Wednesdays, 7:30-11 p.m. on Fridays, 1- 6 p.m. and 7:30-1 p.m. Saturdays, and 3-7 p.m. and 8 p.m.- midnight Sundays. Closed on Mondays and Thursdays. 3335 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW, Atlanta. 404-699-9559, cascadeskating.com. The Comet Pub & Lanes With all the ’50s flare of a sock hop, this Decatur-based bowling alley manages to stay sleek and modern. Located in the former home of Suburban Lanes, which was a community staple for nearly 60 years, the Comet Pub & Lanes has been providing entertainment to children and adults alike since 2016. Its menu, which offers made-from-scratch pizzas and draft beer, is the epitome of Atomic Age design, and the Comet theme fits like a glove. It’s $4 to rent shoes and $2.50-$5 per person for a game, so it’s a cost-efficient way to enjoy the ’50s vision of the future. 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Mondays, 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sundays. 1458 Church St., Suite E, Decatur. 470-225-1931, cometpubandlanes.com. Paris on Ponce Just like looking through your parents’ attic, antique stores provide plenty of interesting blasts from the past. One of the most eclectic in Atlanta is Paris on Ponce, which has items ranging from the 18th century to the modern age. It’s effectively a museum, an art gallery, a furniture store and a space for oddities all rolled into one. With more than 46,000 square feet of real estate, it’s inevitable that some odd item will surely capture your imagination. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. Sundays. 716 Ponce De Leon Place NE, Atlanta. 404-249-9965. parisonponce.com.
  • As is customary at the end of Sunday school, my classmates and I gathered one morning recently in a circle for prayer. Before bowing our heads, one of them asked that we pray for a young couple who’d had to make the hard choice between the mother’s life and that of their unborn child. The mother, she said, was about five months into her pregnancy when doctors diagnosed her with cancer. The couple decided to have an abortion but naturally, were grieving their loss. I can’t imagine how painful and agonizing that must have been, but it drove home, at least for me, how important it is that our lawmakers, in their rush to ban abortion outright, leave room for parents and their doctors to make such decisions. In the past few months, at least five states, Georgia included, have passed so-called “heartbeat” bills, banning the procedure at various stages of pregnancy and with few or no exceptions. And last week, the U.S. Supreme Court waded into the issue, leaving intact lower court rulings in Indiana that invalidated a broader measure that would prevent a woman from having an abortion based on gender, race or disability but upholding the state’s law requiring abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal remains. Abortion rights groups took that to mean that the Supreme Court does not consider a fetus to be human. Anti-abortion activists countered that the provision is a step toward recognizing fetal tissue not as medical waste but as human remains deserving dignified treatment. I’d hope so, which is why I was struck by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s pronouncement that the time for choice is before pregnancy, not after. It was my sentiment exactly. RELATED: Why ‘heartbeat bill’ in Georgia has stirred up passions on both sides Ivey offered her assessment to a bank of television cameras after signing into law a bill that bans doctors from performing abortions during any stage of pregnancy, punishable by up to 99 years in prison. The legislation, which passed May 14, is the most restrictive abortion legislation in the country and is likely to be struck down by the courts. Whether you agree with a total ban on abortion or not, it’s hard for me to fathom any woman believes abortion should be used as a form of birth control. It shouldn’t and under no circumstance. Birth control should be used to prevent pregnancy instead. But is it really that simple? A.J. Marsden, an assistant professor of human services and psychology at Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla., and a former U.S. Army surgical nurse, doesn’t think so. This debate goes much deeper than that, she told me. “The issue isn’t whether women would rather use abortion or other contraceptives for pregnancy prevention, but instead whether other contraceptives are affordably and reliably available to her,” Marsden said. Marsden said, for instance, that research from Washington University in St. Louis found support for the idea that providing birth control to women at no cost significantly reduces the rate of unplanned pregnancies and reduces abortion rates. In fact, abortion rates were cut by 62% to 78%. Furthermore, long-term methods, such as IUDs and implants, were more effective than short-term methods. “Many insurance companies, however, do not cover these types of birth control methods, and it could cost the woman more than $800 for a long-term birth control method,” Marsden said. “Sadly, across the U.S., 6% to 22% of women are uninsured.” Further research, she said, backs this up. RELATED: Kemp signs anti-abortion ‘heartbeat’ legislation, sets up legal fight First, the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit that researches and analyzes sexual and reproductive issues, found that unplanned pregnancies occur five times more often for women living at or below the federal poverty level. “Those living under the poverty level are less likely to have a job that provides insurance; therefore, they are less likely to have affordable birth control provided to them, and will have to pay for it out of pocket,” Marsden said. “If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you may have to choose between feeding your family and birth control.” And while Planned Parenthood is an excellent option for uninsured women, she said that many states restrict and prohibit the agency from receiving reimbursements under their state’s Medicaid program. And due to the federal and state cuts, many Planned Parenthood centers are closing their doors. Second, research shows that a proper sex education can help increase contraceptive use and decrease unplanned pregnancies. The problem, Marsden said, is many states — especially those in the South — restrict the type of sex education offered to teens to focus almost exclusively on abstinence only. “Clearly these programs do not work as the South consistently has the highest teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. Under these programs, teens never learn about proper contraceptive options or use,” she said. “Having taught human sexuality classes at the college level for the past eight years, I can attest to this.” Marsden said she’s had several students admit to not understanding basic sexual education, including a 23-year-old who didn’t know how women got pregnant. I know. That’s hard to believe. But’s it’s equally hard to believe that these bans are happening because state officials actually value the life of children. RELATED: Georgia among 10 worst states to raise a family I was flummoxed when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the state’s anti-abortion bill into law, making it illegal to receive an abortion once a heartbeat is detected in the womb (usually about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they’re pregnant), then turned right around and vetoed a bill that would have required recess for the state’s elementary school students. His reason? “This legislation would impose unreasonable burdens on educational leaders without meaningful justification,” he explained. But it isn’t just Kemp sending mixed messages about his love for children. For years, the state has ranked among the worst when it comes to child well-being. So too have Alabama and Mississippi, where I grew up. In its annual End of Childhood Report released last year, Save the Children ranked Georgia 44th in the nation on measures of child poverty, with 1 in 3 rural children in the state growing up in poverty. Another ranking from WalletHub ranked the state the ninth worst to raise a family, thanks to low scores in education, child care, health and safety. How can this be? Why should women, and men for that matter, believe Georgia really cares about the children it can’t see when it cares so poorly for those it can see? Let’s think about that. And before the film industry, which generates an estimated 92,000 jobs, pulls out of the state, I hope it’ll consider how that’s going to help the children it sees. I mean can the pot really call the kettle black? Come on, people. Find Gracie on Facebook (www.facebook.com/graciestaplesajc/) and Twitter (@GStaples_AJC) or email her at gstaples@ajc.com.
  • Originally posted Tuesday, June 4, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com and GREG BLUESTEIN/greg.bluestein@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Some of Georgia’s leading entertainment businesses sought to meet with Gov. Brian Kemp after he signed the anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill into law, but the Republican has not responded to the May 22 request. About 15 companies sent Kemp the letter requesting a meeting at EUE/Screen Gems. They wanted to discuss the fallout from his support of the abortion restrictions, which has led some Hollywood figures to threaten to leave if the law takes effect.  Among the companies that co-signed the letter included Third Rail Studios in Doraville, Moonshine Post-Production in Atlanta and Lightnin Production Rentals in Lawrenceville.  In the letter, Kris Bagwell of EUE/Screen Gems wrote that the 400 crew on his lot this week “are quickly closing their wallets as they sense a sea change in this Georgia success story called film and television production.” “That’s why I believe they would greatly benefit by hearing from you directly about your support for the future of their jobs in their state,” added Bagwell, who also leads the Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance. Although Kemp visited the state-operated Georgia Film Academy on Pinewood Studio’s property met some film officials, he didn’t talk to other major local leaders and many rank-and-file film and TV crew members.   Kemp has not responded to the request, and in a statement Tuesday his office did not directly address the letter. His spokeswoman, Candice Broce, said the governor will continue to support “the hardworking Georgians employed in the film and television industry.”  The letter was first obtained by Channel 2 Action News through an open records request. In it, Bagwell argued that “hearing directly from you will make a dramatic impact and help to shift the conversation” and reassure the antsy industry.  The letter was a written before Netflix, Disney, Viacom and others sent out notes threatening to leave Georgia if the restrictive anti-abortion bill survives court challenges and goes into effect in early 2020.  Bagwell confirmed today that he has not received any response from Kemp but otherwise declined to comment. Previously, he has said the bill has hurt the state’s reputation with Hollywood brass and he is losing business as a result. None of the companies in question receive the valuable tax credits bestowed upon qualified production companies such as Disney and Sony. Rather, the businesses all invested millions into the state of Georgia banking on the fact the credits would attract Hollywood films and TV productions over the long haul. That has been the case - so far.  If enough Hollywood companies leave Georgia over laws like this, Bagwell and others worry, many of these small businesses would suffer financially and perhaps close down.  Here’s the letter in full: Dear Governor Kemp: I’ve enjoyed having a good, open relationship with you over the years, and I’ve always appreciated you being willing to listen to our industry’s aspirations, feedback and concerns. When you took the time to visit EUE/Screen Gems several years ago, it was clear that you understand not only what it means to be a business owner, but that you also value opportunity and jobs for hard-working Georgians around the state.    I write today with a serious, immediate concern. Recent public comments have raised anxiety about whether our state is committed to this multi-billion-dollar industry going forward. Now, and very suddenly, tens of thousands of Georgians employed in our state’s film and television industry are worried about their job opportunities moving out of state fast. Now, when I talk to many of the approximately 400 Georgia crew on my lot this week, I hear firsthand that they are quickly closing their wallets as they sense a sea change in this Georgia success story called film and television production. That’s why I believe they would greatly benefit by hearing from you directly about your support for the future of their jobs in their state.    With that purpose alone, and in response to your desire stated last week to visit film and television production centers in the state, I respectfully issue an invitation on behalf of 15 local film and television studios and production support companies to start a series of conversations with these Georgians by first visiting EUE/Screen Gems Studios this week or next week. We think that hearing directly from you will make a dramatic impact and help to shift the conversation about Georgia’s film and television industry back to a positive note while also reassuring all Georgia voters that their state won’t have to replace the 92,000 high-paying jobs that you and we, together, have spent over a decade creating.    Out of respect to you and your office, and if you so choose, we will not allow any news media on our premises during your visits. The companies issuing this invitation are:    EUE/Screen Gems Studios  Enterprise Entertainment   Atlanta FilmWorks  SIM Atlanta Camera and Post Mailing Avenue  Stageworks  Crafty Apes Visual Effects and Production Services  Triple Horse Studios  Moonshine Post-Production Third Rail Studios  Lightnin Production Rentals  PC&E  United Rentals  HERC Entertainment Services  Innovation Workshop  Cofer Brothers  On behalf of all of us, I look forward to your quick response and to your visits with us. Sincerely, Kris Bagwell Executive Vice President and General Manager  
  • Two years after his death, the legacy of Gregg Allman lives on. A gravestone engraved with lyrics from “Melissa,” the Allman Brothers Band’s sumptuous 1972 ballad, was installed earlier this year at Allman’s burial site in Macon. “Again the morning's come/again he's on the run Sunbeams shining through his hair/appearing not to have a care, We'll pick up your gear/ and Gypsy roll on, roll on” The Southern rock icon died on May 27, 2017, at his Savannah home after battling liver cancer. He was 69. In the 24 months since his passing, fans continue to flock to Rose Hill Cemetery, often leaving trinkets of affection, such as guitar picks and statues. RELATED>> Capricorn Studios will re-open in Macon this year As previously reported, the cemetery has worked to enclose the gravesite areas of Allman, his brother Duane and ABB bassist Berry Oakley to preserve its safety from overzealous visitors. According to The Macon Telegraph, there is a local effort to recognize Allman and Butch Trucks, who died in January 2017, as well as living members Dickey Betts and Jaimoe Johanson with a series of named roads near the Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House. Oakley and Duane Allman already have an area of road or bridge named for them in the same area.  Follow the Atlanta Music Scene on Facebook and Twitter. 
  • Originally posted Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog The fallout from Gov. Brian Kemp’s signing of the “heartbeat” abortion bill and his dismissive attitude toward Hollywood is having a real impact: multiple TV and film productions that were planning to come here have decided to go elsewhere. Time magazine reports that an Amazon Prime drama called “The Power” was planning to shoot in Savannah and has been scouting locations for months but pulled out after Kemp signed the bill earlier this month.  The show’s director Reed Marino, who won a directing Emmy for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” told Time: “We had no problem stopping the entire process instantly. There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there.” » Ron Howard says he will boycott Georgia if abortion law takes effect Time and The Wrap also confirmed a film co-written by actress Kristen Wiig calld “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” has abandoned Georgia after the bill’s signing.  Kris Bagwell, who runs EUE Screen Gems in Atlanta, said he just lost a Netflix movie that was supposed to come to his studio because of the bill, a production that would have provided jobs to 300 crew members. He also represents the Georgia Studio and Infrastructure Alliance, a six-member lobbying group.  Bagwell said he has heard at least three TV shows, including “The Power,” have decided to go elsewhere.  This is clearly the worst crisis the state’s burgeoning entertainment business has faced since the sweetened tax credits were passed in 2008. The Georgia film industry now generates an estimated 92,000 jobs and billions in direct spending. It’s the third largest state for  film and TV production in the United States behind only California and New York. It also hands out about $800 million in tax credits a year, more than Canada or any other state in the union.  Several independent productions companies - including the one that brought three “Hunger Games” movies to Georgia - have publicly stated that Georgia is now a no-go state for them. Dozens of actors such as Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Gabrielle Union, Uzo Aduba and Don Cheadle  have vowed to avoid the state as well.  Major film and production companies are taking a more “wait-and-see” attitude publicly, but some may just choose to go elsewhere without ever saying so until the matter is settled.  There were some minor ripples two years ago when the state legislature passed a “religious liberty” bill two years ago but Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed it. Last year, a bill unfavorable to the LGBTQ community briefly slowed traffic to the state.  But Kemp signed this particular bill unapologetically and only stoked the fire over the weekend when he told the Georgia Republican Convention that “we value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk.” Several productions were already well into planning stages and others had already started when Kemp signed the restrictive abortion bill into law. Given the disruptive and expensive nature of moving a production at this juncture, many producers are choosing to stay put but making public announcements saying they will donate money to organizations fighting the law such as the ACLU.  Among those taking that stance include Ron Howard (Netflix movie “Hillbilly Elegy”),  J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele (HBO series “Lovecraft Country’) and  Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping (”Fear Street” film trilogy, Starz’  drama series “P-Valley”).  “Some shows are leaving or not landing, yes,” said Bagwell, whose studio has been home to “The Hunger Games,” “Flight” and BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” to name a few. EUE Screen Gems is currently housing multiple Netflix projects, including “Insatiable,” starring Alyssa Milano, a vocal proponent of the boycott who is contractually obligated to work here right now. But he said plenty of shows are choosing to fight from within: “Leaving is easy. Digging in is harder but makes a much bigger difference.” Existing shows that have shot here for years are unlikely to uproot and leave - at  least not immediately. Jason Bateman’s Netflix show “Ozark,” for instance, is shooting its third season but he said he will move the show if the law actually happens next year.  » ‘Ozark’ star Jason Bateman says he won’t work in Georgia if ‘heartbeat bill’ survives court challenges AMC purchased a studio in Senoia a couple of years ago, deeply committed to the production of “The Walking Dead” since 2010.  Bob Lucas, who owns Central Atlanta Props & Sets in East Point, said he hasn't seen a slowdown in his own business as of yet. 'We have had many new shows opening up accounts in the last couple of weeks,' said Lucas, who owns nearly 300,000 square feet of space for props ranging from artwork to clothing to furniture. He moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles in 2014 as the business in the state was ramping up and has since provided props for films as large as the past two 'Avengers' films and 'Black Panther' and TV shows like 'Stranger Things' and 'MacGyver.'  But the state may see new productions dry up in the coming months. What other films and TV series Georgia loses may be harder to ascertain because producers may simply knock the state off their wish list before they even start thinking about where to shoot.  If the courts stop the fetal heartbeat law before it’s set to go into effect in early 2020, Georgia may escape additional pain. Even if that’s the case, many believe the state’s reputation has been marred by Kemp’s actions and the impact might ripple for years, especially if more bills like it pass the legislature in the near future.  “There was some skepticism in the industry about Kemp early on and justifiably so,” said Rhonda Baraka, a local screenwriter who directed the Atlanta-produced film “Pride and Prejudice Atlanta,” which comes out on Lifetime June 1. “I think the bill - and the mentality behind it -cast our state in a negative light. It sends a message about us that does not accurately depict who we are. Even if this bill is scuttled, I don’t think people will easily forget.”  Bagwell said “the passage of this law threatens to destroy a significant portion of 11 years of goodwill between Georgia and the national film and television production industry. Isn’t the first rule of job creation ‘Don’t shoot the jobs you already created?’” Several late-night hosts have already taken jabs at Georgia and so has Funny or Die with this mock tourism video: